Corporate giving can sometimes seem a little impersonal or distant with a bit of a “tax deduction” aura about it. The real human side of organizational giving is greatest felt when the giving comes from the heart and soul of a company…from the people. These are the people who live and breathe the organizational values on a day-in and day-out basis. One of our Guiding Principles here at Graco is that we are “Committed to doing the right thing.” I am so proud of the fact that the dedicated employees of Graco go beyond simply taking this to heart…they actually LIVE it…
I’m sure everyone has sensed the fact that this holiday season seems a little different than those of the recent past. All you have to do is watch the evening news to be reminded that the economic forecast is a little more bleak than usual. People in general are tightening their belts a little more and spending a little less.
Imagine for a moment if you will, that through all of the recent financial turmoil you lost your home and have no nearby family with whom to seek shelter. Suddenly you are homeless and wondering what you are going to do…where you are going to stay…what about your children? I am sure they would expect that Santa will arrive this year as he has every other year…especially if they are young. Sometimes people in this situation need help to get back on their feet. That’s where the Building Bridges Program of West Chester, PA comes in. They provide case management and supportive services for homeless families in sudden, dire need; as well as services for women and children with longer-term needs who have escaped desperate or dangerous situations.
Fortunately, the employees at Graco recognize this need and for the last three years or so; have been participating in a “giving tree” program of sorts in conjunction with the Building Bridges Program. This year, due to increased community need, Graco has “adopted” five families with a total of 17 children and has the wonderful opportunity to bring light and happiness to those children this holiday.
I have never worked at a company where the people are so generous and give so freely. For example, an individual may pick one name tag with one special wish item and turn in 3 or 4 wrapped boxes…all for the same child. I am so proud to be a part of this company and to facilitate the success of this program! Nothing tugs at my heartstrings more than reading a 2-year old child’s “special Christmas wish” is to receive “warm clothes.” And nothing fills my heart with more joy and happiness than to see Pack ‘n Play playards in our lobby overflowing with employee-given gifts for these special children.
For any Graco employee who is participating in this year’s Building Bridges Angel Tree (or has participated in the past) and happens to read this entry…thank you so much for your heartfelt generosity and for bringing a little joy when it is needed most…you do have the power to make a difference in the life of a child!